Wearable Devices and Mobile Health Technology: One Step Towards Better Health

With increasing efforts being made to address the current global obesity epidemic, wearable devices and mobile health ("mHealth") technology have emerged as promising tools for promoting physical activity. However, current literature seems to indicate that these new technologies may serve best as part of a larger overall health plan, rather than working alone to encourage weight loss.

In a review for this week's Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, Nicole Spartano, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, comments that recent literature shows that self-monitoring behavior has a role in encouraging weight loss, but may not be enough to keep people healthy when used without thought to behavioral strategies. "There is not sufficient evidence that wearable devices can promote sustained behavior change and long-term weight maintenance on their own." She cites one study in which a game-based intervention produced significant improvement in step counts compared to a group of individuals using a fitness tracker without an incentive program, concluding that "using social or financial incentives and techniques like gamification may support motivation of behavior change".

Spartano also has concern about groups being left behind with wearable device and mobile health technology-based weight loss studies. "Strategies for research study recruitment and, more importantly, for implementing wearable and mHealth technology into a clinical setting or community public health program (in schools, workplace, church or other community-setting) require extra thought and cultural sensitivity to ensure the equity in potential public resources and opportunities."

Ultimately, she is optimistic about the role these technologies may play in developing weight loss and overall health strategies between patients and their primary care providers. "Integration of mHealth technology and wearable devices in primary care settings presents an opportunity to capitalize on the routine relationship that patients and providers have."

Kaitlyn M Riffenburg, Nicole L Spartano.
Physical activity and weight maintenance: the utility of wearable devices and mobile health technology in research and clinical settings.
Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000433.

Most Popular Now

Artificial Intelligence Solution Improve…

Clinical trials are a critical tool for getting new treatments to people who need them, but research shows that difficulty finding the right volunteer subjects can undermine the effectiveness of...

South West London Pathology Picks CliniS…

One of the first pathology networks in the country, set up to serve more than two million people in south west London, has signed a contract with CliniSys for a...

Call for Tenders: Studies on eHealth, In…

The European Commission is launching a tender for two studies to survey and analyse progress on the digital transformation of the health and care in the EU, in particular with...

AI-based AI-Rad Companion Chest CT Softw…

AI-Rad Companion Chest CT(1), an intelligent software assistant for radiology, was recently awarded the CE mark, which means Siemens Healthineers can start marketing this artificial intelligence (AI)-based software as a...

Spot On for Healthcare Technology Startu…

10 - 12 October 2019, Berlin, Germany. XPOMET Medicinale brings together care providers, patients, and in general stakeholders from all health-related fields and geographic regions. The Festival of Future Medicine and...

Isansys Named as Finalist for OBN's Most…

Isansys Lifecare is proud to announce it has been shortlisted in the Most Transformative Digital Healthcare Company category at the OBN Annual Awards 2019. The award recognises the significant uptake...

7th MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE

18 - 21 November 2019, Düsseldorf, Germany. What lengths do top athletes go to in order to reach peak performances and which findings in the field of professional sports are relevant...

How can We Successfully Converge the Hea…

Opinion Article by Erik Janssen, VP, Innovative Solutions, Neurology, UCB Pharma. The fourth industrial revolution is upon us and fundamentally changing the way we live, work and interact across all industries...

Carestream Health Completes Sale of Heal…

Carestream Healthhas completed the sale of the company's healthcare information solutions business to Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, in 26 of the 38...

Allscripts Listed on Lot One of Health S…

Allscripts has been included on a new list of accredited suppliers of electronic patient records that has been published by NHS England and NHSX. The company is one of just...